City of Des Moines Washington
  • 24-Sep-2020 to Until Filled (PST)
  • Information Technology
  • Des Moines, WA, USA
  • $30.80 - $37.43
  • Hourly
  • Regular Full-Time

The City provides an attractive benefits package which includes medical, dental, vision, life and long term disability insurance, Washington State PERS retirement, 401(a) Social Security replacement plan, 457 retirement plan contribution, and paid holidays, vacation, and sick leave.

The City of Des Moines is looking for an experienced, Payroll and Benefits Specialist to join our close-knit finance team. The successful candidate will be a critical thinker, organized and have experience and a strong understanding of the payroll cycle. We are looking for someone that is ready to learn, train and build payroll in an enterprise system. The enterprise system will bring efficiency and technology to the city and streamline our payroll services.  This person will work closely as a team with Finance and Human Resources and with the support of the Deputy Finance Director, will provide strong customer service to all City employees.

Schedule: Monday Friday, 8-5. In response to covid-19, the city does offer alternative schedules including telecommuting. This person will be full time in the office in the beginning for training purpose. Nontraditional work hours may be required.

Closing Date

Open Until Filled. Initial screening will take place on October 16, 2020. Applicants that turn in their application by the initial screening date will have first priority. 

To Apply

Complete the online application at attach a resume and cover letter explaining how you meet the requirements.

Nature of Work

Under the direction of the Finance Director, but reporting directly to the Deputy Finance Director and working closely with Human Resources, this position is responsible for the technical, administrative and accounting duties in the administration of payroll operations. The Payroll Benefits/Specialist will lead the payroll function, while complying with all  applicable employment laws and accounting standards, including performing technical-related payroll  duties, development of processes and recommendations that facilitate accurate and efficient payroll, configuration, operation maintenance, upgrades, testing and training of the City's payroll system. Additionally, the incumbent must work with complex, manual and automated processes, and apply union contract language and policy language to all payroll aspects.

Innovation is rewarded and the incumbent must be able to use reasoning skills to interpret: union contracts, benefit deductions, tax withholdings, specialty pays, shift conversions, etc. as the work requires considerable judgment, confidentiality and human relations skills. Although this position will focus primarily on payroll, the incumbent may perform other accounting duties as assigned.

Essential Functions

Payroll Processing

  • Performs timely and accurate preparation of City semi-monthly payrolls. Process payments to employees, state and federal deposits, WA State Department of Retirement systems and other benefit providers. Responds to garnishment inquiries and tracks disbursements appropriately to facilitate reporting requirements.
  • Reviews/monitors employees' timesheet data in order to ensure conformance with appropriate labor agreements, policies and regulations; and administration of leave Coordinates and provides information/data to HR as necessary to ensure compliance with City policy and state and federal benefit law.
  • Maintains electronic and, if necessary, manual payroll changes for new, terminating, and active employees. Maintains electronic and/or manual leave requests and associated accrual files. 
  • Coordinates and performs payroll accounting operational functions; evaluates accounting procedures and fiscal practices and recommends and assists in implementing new or revised payroll accounting systems, procedures and records; participates in developing computer programs for payroll accounting analysis. 
  • Prepares and files payroll tax reports; balances and prepares annual W2s and 1095 forms and files reports with appropriate agency.
  • Compiles payroll  statistics  and  costs  pursuant  to  varying  management  and/or   Union requests. Coordinates applicable information and/or requests with Human Resources to maintain compliance with City policy, collective bargaining agreements and state and federal laws.
  • Designs standard and ad hoc payroll and benefit reports utilizing the payroll system report writer software and assists with salary budget and variance analysis, as requested. 
  • Identifies the  need  for  and  notifies  the  Finance  Director  of  payroll  related  accounting system problems and works with the IT department and vendors in the revision/replacement of payroll systems.
  • Prepares complex research and develops reports for management as requested. Performs, and or supervises cash receiving, accounting for, and safeguarding as required. Issues receipts, classifies and codes transactions.

Benefit Administration 

  • Enters all enrollment changes on vendor websites; adjusts and processes payroll premiums accordingly; coordinates annual open enrollment changes with HR staff to ensure accurate and timely implementation of benefit changes. 
  • Reconciles employees' paid benefit billings to payroll records; calculates and submits payment for City-sponsored benefits; identifies and resolves billing and/or payroll discrepancies that may arise. 
  • Processes position/personnel action forms; monitors and verifies step increases by tracking dates when increases are scheduled and sending out reminder notices to department heads.
  • Maintains database or spreadsheet information to update and track FMLA, shared leave and other leave of absence records, consulting with the Human Resources as needed.
  • Assists with the coordination of annual open enrollment and benefit programs, forwards forms to providers and monitors enrollment results. Verifies accuracy of benefits enrollment forms, status changes, beneficiary changes, etc.
  • Creates and maintains various wage and benefits analysis spreadsheets in support to the City's bargaining team for labor negotiations and other labor-management interactions; responds to requests from labor unions as assigned.
  • Responds to routine questions from employees regarding health benefits, deferred compensation programs, retirement benefits, life insurance, workers compensation and disability coverage.
  • Coordinates with HR to monitor state and federal benefits legislation, regulations and laws to establish integration into the payroll system to maintain compliance. 
  • Assists with the annual budget process by developing salary and benefit forecasting.

Customer Service

  • Provide technical assistance regarding the processing of payroll and resolving payroll issues; serves as the payroll/timekeeping liaison with department timekeepers; answer employees' inquiries regarding payroll procedures and calculations; responds to verbal and written inquiries from supervisors, department heads and outside agencies; prepares handbooks and manuals related to payroll procedures and conducts training related to payroll procedures  and conducts training related to payroll processing. 
  • Coordinates and assists with required payroll audits, reviews, and public records requests including but not limited to data collection and compilation.

Enterprise System Launch

  • Provide input and forward thinking as the City prepares and implements a brand new enterprise system with Munis.
  • Pro-active in identifying the needs of the payroll process in new system. Utilize training, knowledge center and testing to prepare for launch.
  • Work together with assigned Project Manager, Finance and Human Resources on all project appropriate deadlines.
  • Become a subject matter expert of our brand new Time, Attendance and Scheduling software, Executime.

Additional Duties

  • Establishes and maintains cooperative, effective working relationships with co-workers, other City employees, and the general public using principles of good customer service.
  • Reports for scheduled work with regular, reliable and punctual attendance. 
  • Performs other duties as assigned, including but not limited to being assigned to work in other functional areas to cover absences or relief, equalize peak work periods, or balance the workload.

Necessary Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities

Knowledge of:

  • Knowledge of payroll principles and practices.
  • Accounting principles and fund accounting.
  • Current laws and procedures governing public sector payroll and reporting requirements, accounting systems, and municipal budgeting procedures. 
  • Federal and state wage and hour laws.
  • Governmental accounting and auditing practices and State of Washington Budgeting, Accounting, and Reporting System(BARS)
  • Generally Accepted Accounting Principles(GAAP).
  • Government Accounting Standard Board(GASB).

Skill and ability to:

  • Maintain confidentiality regarding sensitive information and confidential records. 
  • Research payroll system errors or omissions and coordinate corrective action. 
  • Demonstrate attention to detail. 
  • Operate computers utilizing a variety of software including automated financial systems, word processing, spreadsheet, database and other applications related to the area of assignment.
  • Enter data into computer systems with speed and accuracy. 
  • Plan and organize work. 
  • Perform statistical, mathematical and financial analysis; interpret the data. 
  • Read and interpret documents, including collective bargaining agreements and legal regulations.
  • Work under pressure and/or continual interruptions, and to deal with a variety of deadlines of both an immediate and flexible nature. 
  • Communicate effectively, both orally and in writing, with the public, other employees, using tact, discretion and courtesy. 
  • Perform arithmetic computations accurately and quickly.
  • Apply general accounting principles to the keeping of account records and the preparation of financial reports. 
  • Maintain effective working relationships with officials, staff, and general public. 
  • Understand complex written and oral instruction. 
  • Formulate and design forms, graphs and program spreadsheets.
  • Work independently and make decisions under broad guidelines. 
  • Meet deadlines. 
  • Maintain fair, equitable and cooperative working relationships with co-workers.
  • Communicate effectively. 
  • Manage multiple projects simultaneously. 
  • Coordinate projects and responsibilities with intradepartmental co-workers.

Education and Experience Requirements

  • An Associate's degree in accounting or finance or related field;
  • Three (3) years' experience in accounting or accounting/payroll activity; or
  • An equivalent combination of education and experience that would provide the required knowledge, skill and abilities to perform the essential duties listed above.
  • CPP (Certified Payroll Professional) certification is desired.
  • Public sector experience, preferred.

Special Requirements

  • Possession of and the ability to maintain throughout employment a valid Washington State Driver's License with a good driving record.
  • Successful completion of a pre-employment background and criminal history check.
  • Because of the known effects of tobacco use, the City of Des Moines does not hire applicants who use tobacco products.

Working Conditions and Physical Abilities

  • Works indoors in a climate-controlled office environment with low noise levels. Constant use of sight, hearing, and speech abilities necessary to perform essential functions and to communicate with others. Constant fine finger manipulation and use of hands and arms in reaching/handling/ fingering/grasping while operating office equipment and computers, preparing written documentation, handling paperwork, etc. Frequent sitting, may be extended at times, while doing desk activities. Frequent bending/twisting at waist/knees/neck while working at desk, worktable, or moving from sitting to standing position. Frequent standing in combination with walking (short distances) throughout work shift in office areas. Occasional lifting/carrying up to 25-pound documents, materials, file boxes, etc. Occasional pushing/pulling force up to 10 pounds opening doors, drawers, and moving materials. Requires mental acuity to ensure thorough mental analysis of situations in a fast-paced environment.

Equal Opportunity Employer

  • The City of Des Moines is committed to hiring a diverse workforce and all qualified applicants, including all ethnic backgrounds and persons with disabilities, are encouraged to apply. The City is an Equal Opportunity Employer and does not unlawfully discriminate on the basis of race, sex, age, color, religion, national origin, marital status, sexual orientation, veteran status, disability status, or any other basis prohibited by federal, state, or local law.
  • In accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, an employer is obligated to make a reasonable accommodation only to the known limitations of an otherwise qualified individual with a disability. In general, it is the responsibility of the applicant or employee with a disability to inform the employer that an accommodation is needed to participate in the application process, to perform essential job functions or to receive equal benefits and privileges of employment.

General Information

  • The statements contained herein reflect general details as necessary to describe the principal functions for this job description and the level of knowledge and skill typically required and the scope of responsibility, but should not be considered an all-inclusive listing of work requirements.
  • The physical abilities described above are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of the job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.
  • The provisions of this job description do not constitute an expressed or implied contract. Any provision contained herein may be modified and/or revoked without notice. 
  • Updated September 2020.


City of Des Moines Washington
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